Jump to content
teenyreef

Teenyreef's 20g Study-kept Dustmite Biotope: It's alive!

Recommended Posts

teenyreef
5 hours ago, Sharbuckle said:

Sand or no sand? 

No sand. I've grown to like bare bottom. The tank stays cleaner, I don't have to stir up the sand, and I can run the flow a lot higher. I miss sand sometimes, especially since there are some fish and inverts that just can't go in a bare bottom tank. But then I have to go stir the sand in the 40g again and I remember why I like bare bottom 🙂

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Cycling parameter log starts here. First day of the cycle was July 24.

Day 1:

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 4 ppm

 

Day 2:

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 4

Nitrites: 0

 

Isn't this exciting! 🙄

 

I forgot to mention it last night - I had a little trouble with the nutrient dosing. I did the initial dose, which is a half strength dose. The I tested ammonia, and got a result of zero, although it was supposed to be 1. Then I realized I had dosed according to the tank water volume (about 15-18 gallons) instead of total water volume including the sump, which is more like 25-30 gal. The instructions said if you got ammonia at 1, then dose another half strength dose, and test to verify ammonia is at 2. 

I added a second, bigger dose to account for the larger water volume, checked again, and still got zero. 

Then I realized my Salifert test kit expired in 2015. And then I also realized I'd used the same syringe for the ammoinia test reagent that I'd used to measure the nutrient dose. In other words, I contaminated the ammonia test reagent with some ammonia. So then I realized my test kit was not good.

I pulled out my ancient API test kit, and checked ammonia with it, and it measured at 4 ppm. It may be an old test kit, but 4 ppm sounds about right given that I put in a double dose when I probably didn't need to. I suppose I should get a new test kit, but as long as I get reasonable values from the API and it eventually goes to zero, I shouldn't need to test for ammonia until the next time I set up a new tank.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Merthynia

omgomgomgYay! Can't wait until the cycle completes!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Day 2 (actually last night)

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 3

Nitrites: 0

 

Things are getting ready to get going...the water was a little cloudy yesterday morning and had cleared up this morning, so bacteria are growing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
xiaoxiy

I’m surprised you didn’t just stick some of your mature live rock (from your other systems) into the sump to seed the system! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Day 3 - no changes. Sigh.

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 3

Nitrites: 0

 

The water was less cloudy, and the ammonia reading might have been a tiny bit lighter. But definitely no nitrites.

Per the instructions, I added another dose of bacteria.

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
7 hours ago, xiaoxiy said:

I’m surprised you didn’t just stick some of your mature live rock (from your other systems) into the sump to seed the system! 

I really thought about it, and I'm still not convinced that it won't make any difference in the long run.

But I wanted to try the kit since it was specifically marketed for cycling dry rock tanks, and I wanted to start with a known "no pests" state before I start introducing corals from the other tanks.

 

What I haven't decided is whether to try and cut every single coral that I transfer from the existing rock, or move them on small pieces of rock. I'd like to say I'm going to be super careful and only move cut frags in to avoid introducing pests. But in reality I will probably get lazy and end up with the same end result as if I had just put in live rock from another tank to begin with.

 

Here are the known pests I'm trying to avoid introducing:

- Vermetid worms. I've had these in every single tank since they were introduced from the live rock I got from the lfs in my very first tank.

- Aiptasia. I've had these in all three tanks. The filefish in the 40g has kept them completely in check, and the 10g was clean until recently, when they started to make a comeback. And I just haven't been able to completely eradicate them from the 30g frag tank, it goes from almost nothing to having huge man-eating aiptasia a couple months later. 

- The 10g tank has something that causes the acros to die from the base up. It's not AEFW or any other actual pest I've been able to identify even under super-zoom macro pictures and in looking at what's left in the bottom of the dip cup. But something's just Not Quite Right, and this, more than anything, is what I want to keep out of the new tank.

 

There are a few others but they are more nuisances than real pests. Time will tell if I am successful at keeping them out of the tank.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Day 4 - no changes. Sigh.

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 3

Nitrites: 0

 

I'm going to pick up a new test kit tomorrow. My lazy approach to testing ammonia with an expired test kit has left me in doubt as to whether I'm getting good results. I'm just going to let things ride for now and test again tomorrow with a new test kit.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
second_decimal
On 7/27/2020 at 9:36 PM, teenyreef said:

I really thought about it, and I'm still not convinced that it won't make any difference in the long run.

But I wanted to try the kit since it was specifically marketed for cycling dry rock tanks, and I wanted to start with a known "no pests" state before I start introducing corals from the other tanks.

 

What I haven't decided is whether to try and cut every single coral that I transfer from the existing rock, or move them on small pieces of rock. I'd like to say I'm going to be super careful and only move cut frags in to avoid introducing pests. But in reality I will probably get lazy and end up with the same end result as if I had just put in live rock from another tank to begin with.

 

Here are the known pests I'm trying to avoid introducing:

- Vermetid worms. I've had these in every single tank since they were introduced from the live rock I got from the lfs in my very first tank.

- Aiptasia. I've had these in all three tanks. The filefish in the 40g has kept them completely in check, and the 10g was clean until recently, when they started to make a comeback. And I just haven't been able to completely eradicate them from the 30g frag tank, it goes from almost nothing to having huge man-eating aiptasia a couple months later. 

- The 10g tank has something that causes the acros to die from the base up. It's not AEFW or any other actual pest I've been able to identify even under super-zoom macro pictures and in looking at what's left in the bottom of the dip cup. But something's just Not Quite Right, and this, more than anything, is what I want to keep out of the new tank.

 

There are a few others but they are more nuisances than real pests. Time will tell if I am successful at keeping them out of the tank.

This is something that i am being very conscientious about these days. I am as careful as i can be and use a Magnification lens light for visual inspection, used to use coral RX and all of the zoas really seem to enjoy a 10-15 min Lugols dip. For sticks I am using Bayer dip now and so far so good. i have read mixed things on the Bayer dip but seems to be working so far. 

 

Aptasia is another story.. i have been fighting with that for a few months now and i swear everything will look cool when out of the blue.. one appears. as soon as i spot one, i already know i will find 6 more on closer inspection. the Aiptasia x seems to work pretty well but not well enough to ever get rid of them totally. now I introduced 2 cleaner shrimp... i see more aiptasia.. waiting to see results.

 

i got one frag that had vermitid snails on it. they are a bane and i loathe them. imho the hardest to control. I use a soft toothbrush to clean the base and always remove the original plug. even with all that effort, i still got FW, Aiptasia and i removed another brand new but pretty big vermitid from the stem of a torch.. hopefully it will be the last one 🙄 it never ends lol 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
1 hour ago, second_decimal said:

This is something that i am being very conscientious about these days. I am as careful as i can be and use a Magnification lens light for visual inspection, used to use coral RX and all of the zoas really seem to enjoy a 10-15 min Lugols dip. For sticks I am using Bayer dip now and so far so good. i have read mixed things on the Bayer dip but seems to be working so far. 

 

Aptasia is another story.. i have been fighting with that for a few months now and i swear everything will look cool when out of the blue.. one appears. as soon as i spot one, i already know i will find 6 more on closer inspection. the Aiptasia x seems to work pretty well but not well enough to ever get rid of them totally. now I introduced 2 cleaner shrimp... i see more aiptasia.. waiting to see results.

 

i got one frag that had vermitid snails on it. they are a bane and i loathe them. imho the hardest to control. I use a soft toothbrush to clean the base and always remove the original plug. even with all that effort, i still got FW, Aiptasia and i removed another brand new but pretty big vermitid from the stem of a torch.. hopefully it will be the last one 🙄 it never ends lol 

Dips help a lot, along with careful inspection. I think in the long run, a complete quarantine tank is the only thing that really works, though. I read about how Jason Fox puts every single coral in a quarantine tank for months before introducing them into his big tanks, and I can see why. 

 

I've tried everything for aiptasia and I think the best approach is multiple controls. The best solution I've found is a good filefish. As long as I have one in my 40g tank, it's aiptasia free (at least, where I can see them). But I know they are still in there, because when I lost my filefish, I had visible aiptasia within a month (and I hadn't added anything to the tank).

 

In the 30g frag tank. the filefish can't get to the aiptasia that are below the frag rack, so I have to kill those manually with kalk paste. I've used Aiptsia x and it works fine, but kalk paste is way cheaper and almost as easy to use. I just have to be careful not to use too much since it raises alkalinity. I can't keep peppermint shrimp in that tank because I have a hawknose fish and he views shrimp as mobile treats.

 

I've also tried berghia, but they die after they eat the aiptasia. So if they miss even one tiny aiptasia, they will come back.

 

Vermetid worms are the worst. I crush them whenever I find them, but that's not practical once they get all over the rocks because they grow underneath and behind where I can't get to them. I did have great luck with Doug, my leopard toby puffer. I never actually saw him eat them, but after I had him for several months, they were all gone. 

 

I think I'm going to get another Doug for this tank, along with a file fish 🙂

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
second_decimal
1 hour ago, teenyreef said:

Vermetid worms are the worst. I crush them whenever I find them, but that's not practical once they get all over the rocks because they grow underneath and behind where I can't get to them. I did have great luck with Doug, my leopard toby puffer. I never actually saw him eat them, but after I had him for several months, they were all gone. 

Doug ate vermetids? Or aiptasia? Either way, That’s awesome. I thought those things were indestructible. 
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
1 hour ago, second_decimal said:

Doug ate vermetids? Or aiptasia? Either way, That’s awesome. I thought those things were indestructible. 
 

He ate the vermetids. The filefish eats the aiptasia. So I'm going to have both 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
On 7/28/2020 at 8:10 PM, teenyreef said:

Day 4 - no changes. Sigh.

Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 3

Nitrites: 0

 

I'm going to pick up a new test kit tomorrow. My lazy approach to testing ammonia with an expired test kit has left me in doubt as to whether I'm getting good results. I'm just going to let things ride for now and test again tomorrow with a new test kit.

After I posted this last night, I tested ammonia from the 40g tank and it read 0, as it should. So I added some more bacteria last night (per the instructions) and tested again this evening. Looks like the test kits are fine after all.

Day 5:

Ph: 7.9

Ammonia: 2

Nitrites: .25

We're on the way, woot! :happydance:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
xiaoxiy

I have a ton of vermetids as well, but they don't seem to bother the corals much.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
second_decimal
1 hour ago, teenyreef said:

He ate the vermetids. The filefish eats the aiptasia. So I'm going to have both 🙂

a tiny part of me sort of just wished i had vermitids.. doug was a pretty cool guy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Day 6:

Ph: 7.9

Ammonia: 2

Nitrites: .25

Nitrates: 10

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

That looks like some progress!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
13 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

That looks like some progress!

Yep! Eventually the tank will cycle. Like everything in this hobby, patience is so important!

 

Speaking of which, no changes on Day 7:

Ph: 7.9

Ammonia: 2

Nitrites: .25

Nitrates: 10

 

I added a final dose of starter bacteria. Now it's time to sit back and wait for the magic to finish 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Elizabeth94

I think I have been waiting too long silently lurking on this thread. I can only imagine another work of art coming from you. Im yet another person who was inspired by your 10gal. You were literally the reason why a nuvo 10 was my choice when I chose my second tank. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Reefkid88

I feel you bud,mine is day 6 and I am at:

 

 Ammonia-2

 Rites and Trates-0... 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
second_decimal

I sense a grow off coming on..

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

Day 8:

Ph: 7.9

Ammonia: 2

Nitrites: .25

Nitrates: 25

 

I still have ammonia and nitrites, but nitrates are going up, so the cycle is progressing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
RedTheReefer
2 hours ago, teenyreef said:

Day 8:

Ph: 7.9

Ammonia: 2

Nitrites: .25

Nitrates: 25

 

I still have ammonia and nitrites, but nitrates are going up, so the cycle is progressing.

Wow. Looks like a two week cycle maybe?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
8 hours ago, RedTheReefer said:

Wow. Looks like a two week cycle maybe?

Yes, that sounds like a good guess to me. Then who knows how many months to work through the ugly stages.

On 7/31/2020 at 11:03 PM, Reefkid88 said:

I feel you bud,mine is day 6 and I am at:

 

 Ammonia-2

 Rites and Trates-0... 

Yeah, even after years of experience, waiting for the cycle to complete is still hard to handle 🙄

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef
12 hours ago, second_decimal said:

I sense a grow off coming on..

:lol:

On 7/31/2020 at 10:36 PM, Elizabeth94 said:

I think I have been waiting too long silently lurking on this thread. I can only imagine another work of art coming from you. Im yet another person who was inspired by your 10gal. You were literally the reason why a nuvo 10 was my choice when I chose my second tank. 

Awwww, thank you :flower:

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...